A prototype is a way to bring your idea to life and test it on others. Developing and testing a prototype makes it easier for you to understand what works well or less well and how you can develop your idea further.

1. Before making a prototype

First think about how your prototype can test the value of your idea. If you think your idea will have several good effects, it may be a good idea to prioritize these before making the prototype.

For example, do you think that your idea will help residents 1) get faster answers to their questions, 2) experience a smoother contact with the municipality, and 3) will facilitate and streamline the work for colleagues.

Then make several prototypes that step by step test these imagined effects, instead of one prototype that will test all at once. You make a prototype that tests whether effect 1 seems to be true: the idea will reduce the time it takes for residents to get answers to their questions. If it goes well, then make a prototype that also tests effect 2.

Follow this method to turn your idea into a simple prototype concept, and come back here later.

Go from a complex idea to a simple prototype

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2. What kind of prototype should I make?

What kind of prototype you should make depends on what phase of the idea development you are in. If you have just started, you should make and test a simple prototype. After one or more rounds of testing, you can make a more complex prototype.

Keep it simple

In the first step, it is good to make the prototype as simple as possible. The advantages are that you can make the prototype quickly and cheaply. The purpose of the prototype in this step is to quickly get feedback on the concept behind your idea and to see what people like or dislike.

Go to this method to see some examples of simple prototypes.

Build simple prototypes

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3. More complex prototypes

After you have done one or more test rounds with simple prototypes, you can use what you have learned to make a more complex prototype. In this phase of idea development, you should make the prototype more realistic (closer to a real solution).

Go to this method for instructions on more complex prototypes.

Build more complex prototypes

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After making your prototype, go to the next step: 5. Test the prototype